Emergency siren installed in Kansas

KANSAS – A new siren installed Tuesday is to alert residents of situations such as severe weather, a train derailment involving chemicals or a natural disaster.

Personnel from Bettsville and Kansas volunteer fire departments and a crew from Kansas Grain installed the siren at Liberty Park in Kansas Tuesday morning.

Acquisition of the siren was a joint effort between Kansas Volunteer Fire Department, Liberty Township and Seneca County Emergency Management Agency.

Clark Boatman, assistant chief of Kansas Volunteer Fire Department, said officials are trying to space out sirens throughout the county. The sirens can be heard for several miles, he said.

Sirens can be set off by local fire departments, Seneca County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s emergency operations center. There is a siren at the fire station in Kansas, but a person must go there to activate it, Boatman said.

“This is the first (one) here,” he said.

Rick Brickner, road superintendent for Liberty Township, said Dan Stahl, director of Seneca County EMA, approached Liberty Township officials and asked them about the siren. Trustees said they would be willing to install the pole and do what it took to get the siren, he said.

Stahl said the siren is part of the county outdoor warning system. He said a grant through U.S. Department of Homeland Security paid for the siren and controlling equipment, which cost about $12,000. Kansas Volunteer Fire Department and Liberty Township were responsible for getting the pole and the installation, he said.

Boatman has been overseeing the project since it started last summer and said the 45-foot pole was set in December.

The sooner the crew installs it, the sooner it helps the county, he said.

“The true message from a siren like that is tune to local media to find out what’s going on,” Stahl said.

Kansas Volunteer Fire Department also has a new fire truck on the way. The department has two stations – one near Fostoria and one in Kansas – and serves two townships in Seneca County and two townships in Sandusky County.

“We have a wide range of area,” Boatman said.